Although one of the main contributions to linguistics from Speech Act Theory has been the classification of performative utterances, there has been no attempt to describe the group of verbs that are traditionally included in this set of verbs. This paper approaches these verbs aiming to provide a better definition of the property of performativity. With this goal, the author presents some features that illocutionary verbs need to have in order to work performatively: self-referentiality, conventionalization, autonomy, transparency, and being a non-communicated verb. This analysis shows that verbs traditionally included in the group of performatives do not comprise a homogeneous set and that it is possible to establish, based on the aforementioned features, some clear distinctions within the set of Spanish performative verbs.
Selected Proceedings of the 8th Hispanic Linguistics Symposium
edited by Timothy L. Face and Carol A. Klee
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